MORE legislation on road safety is expected shortly. It will be tough, but no tougher than the norm in many countries with better records than Ireland. Here, as daily observation tells us all, dismal standards and shocking practices still often prevail.
For all the good work of recent years, and the reduction in fatalities, road users of all ages are guilty of these practices. But one category runs by far the greatest risk of death or serious injury.
Since inexperienced drivers, especially men aged 17 to 24, make up an appalling proportion of the casualties, it is right that the proposed legislation will target them. New drivers will have to display an R (for "restricted") plate for two years. They will be subject to a lower alcohol breath-test limit. Learners and novices will get a six-month suspension if they incur six penalty points.
Meanwhile, the Road Safety Authority plans to introduce "hazard perception testing" into driver training from next year. This is a most praiseworthy move.
Young drivers customarily take to the road after a very brief learning period. Many have little or no experience of night driving -- something else that will be rectified in the reforms of the test. And in the nature of things, most have not encountered extreme situations brought about by their own negligence, others' faults or mere bad luck. Any move is laudable that shows them how perilous a place the road is, for young and old.